Review: Jack's House is back with another wedge of crucial cuts from a spread of big hitters, kicking off with Alex Arnout and the tightly wound roller "Hypersomnia." Tuccillo is in a heads down mood on "Another Day," letting the drums and the bassline do the brunt of the work. Terry Francis favours a heavy, smoky sound palette that has a bassline that will do some serious damage on a decent system - "Jua" is easily the strongest track on the record. Killan Vega closes the record with a smart deep house jam peppered with crafty sound design elements that lift the track beyond the average chord-led workout.
Review: After a two-year hiatus, the "Watergate Affairs" series returns with an EP of tracks from what the legendary Berlin label describes as "talent from outside the crew's immediate circle". Danish duo Baime step up first with the humid late night techno exotica of "Majka" - all Indonesian percussion, snake charmer synths and Teutonic grooves - before Kadosh offers up the melodious tech-house/deep-house fusion of "Better Days". Turn to the flip for a dash of quietly euphoric White Isle tech-house goodness from Ibiza-based Kintar ("Paradisou") and the extra-percussive throb of Kevin Di Serna's "Lucero Del Alma", where evocative electronic lead lines bubble above moody bass and pulsating synthesizer motifs.
Review: UK legend Dego and killer keys-man Kaidi Tatham have been in a rich vein of form of late, dropping brilliant EPs on Eglo, Sound Signature and Rush Hour (the latter under their 2000Black alias). Here, they return to Eglo with four more slices of warm, rich, soul-flecked fluidity. As with previous outings, much of the material has a laidback jazz-funk feel, particularly "Orbiting Uhara" and the delicious "The Vault Descends" (think bustling bruk rhythms and darting boogie synths). They also offer up some tougher, synth-laden bruk-funk in the shape of "Man Made", while "Black Is Key" sees them unfurl a head-nodding vocal roller.
Review: We're used to seeing DJ Rocca in collaborative mode; since making his debut in 2005, he's worked alongside everyone from Dimitri From Paris and Hard Ton to Fred Ventura, Rodion and In Flagranti. His latest collaborator is label-hopping London producer Alex Warren AKA Kiwi. A-side "Bronze" is warm and breezy, with the pair wrapping heavy analogue tones, dream house style chords and cosmic synthesizer flourishes around a sturdy, suitably bass-heavy groove. "I Got A Toy" is arguably even more fluid and colourful, with the combination of melodic positivity, bubbly bass and crunchy machine drums making a suitably Balearic impression despite its obvious house credentials.
Review: The high grade, leftfield approach to house music Lyssna have set out as their MO continues in fine style on this new Colours series, starting with the Yellow EP and a strong cast of characters from the outer reaches. Riciar Ghir opens up proceedings with the tumbling deep house of "Cargo", making the keys dance with distinction and injection a subby rumble where it counts. Minimal Afrika follow that up with a percussive tryst entitled "Drakma Queen" that blossoms into a sumptuous ambient excursion. Robotalco takes a very different approach with some classically pumping sample-powered house music to shake feel-good fists to, and then Klubbhuset finishes up with an impassioned romp through peak time disco licks for the peak of the night.
Review: The Synthetic Gold story continues to unfold in the most curious nooks and crannies of the minimal techno scene, as this third volume welcomes in tracks selected by Anestie Gomez. Khan is in a looped up, insistent cycle loaded with alien synth tones and a focused rhythmic hiccup of a beat, truly aiming for the psych-out end of the night. Eloi Brunelle makes things a touch funkier on "Neneh", deploying choice splashes of dubbed out colour in between the sharp strut of the drums. Andres Garcia then spreads himself across the B-side with the loping funk of "Invisivel", working all manner of freaky sounds around the scuffed sway of the beats.
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (original mix) (5:23)
Will Saul & Kommon - "Two For One" (Appleblim remix) (6:29)
Review: As a follow-up to Will Saul's exclusive-packed - and generally well received - DJ Kicks set, !K7 has decided to reissue two of the most celebrated tracks, with fresh new remixes. On the A-side you'll find Jabru and Joel Culpepper's "Church" - a decidedly organic, soulful chunk of deep house/UK garage fusion - with accompanying Zed Bias rub. The UKG veteran gives it a bouncy, bassy two-step makeover, wisely retaining Culpepper's brilliant vocals. Flip for Will Saul and Komon's spacey "Two For One", where dreamy flourishes rub shoulders with throbbing electronics and delicate house beats. The remix is provided by Appleblim, who adds a new layer of percussive toughness - in a bruk-meets-two-step style - whilst retaining the warmth of the original.
Review: Long celebrated as a hub for new producers to showcase their talents, CDR return to the releasing game in partnership with Dimensions Festival. Up and coming house heads K15 and FYI Chris reportedly invited Lismore and Ben Houghton to take part in this collaborative release, resulting in four tracks that wouldn't sound out of place soundtracking a balmy afternoon dance on the Adriatic Sea. Oozing quality and soul throughout, there's a distinctly laid back flavour to the house on offer across this release, although FYI Chris add a touch more bite with their grubby lo-fi synth lines on "Sugar".
Review: The journey back into the vaults of seminal Italian house music label Vibraphone Records continues apace with this gem from 1993. K2 was a one-off project for central label figures The True Underground Sound of Rome, and this Loss Of Gravity 12" represents one of the most sought after rarities from the Vibraphone catalogue. The on-point breakbeats of "The Journey", the wistful tones of "In My Garden", the plush ambient refrains of "Lirica" - every inch of this record is steeped in class that belies the age of the music. Need we say more - this is a buy on sight reissue that won't stick around for long.
Can See Thru You (Sean McCabe Broken Mind remix) (6:24)
Can See Thru You (Sean McCabe 909 dub) (6:53)
Another Way (6:04)
Review: Barcelona newcomer Karmasound continues to wriggle and writhe his way up the ranks with a second release on Josiah Hartley's Phuture Shock. Building on the heat and soul of his debut release "Probabilidades" last year, "Can See Thru You" is another dreamy loose-drummed neo soul house gem that sparkles more every time you play it. Sitting somewhere between Amp Fiddler and Phil Asher, it's got summer stamped all over it. Remix-wise Sean McCabe adds two different floor-focused twists with the heavier Broken Mind mix and the heads down 909 dub. Finally Karmasound ups the tempo and takes us deep into bruk territory with the staccato soul and jazzy switches and cool 140 rhythm of "Another Way". There's no other way right now.
Review: Purism leaps into action once more, this time welcoming a strong cast of lesser known characters that fit right into the adventurous approach to house and techno that the label has forged its reputation on. All these producers make their first appearances here, but you wouldn't know it listening to the quality of the tracks on offer. Rafael Kasma's "Static Rope" is a quintessential grooving house jam with some killer filtered chords, while Munir Nadir brings the twitchy minimalism vibes on "Milagro". Jackie is on a sultry, jazzy deep house tip with "Lune" and Mag0 rounds things off with the cheeky, quirky funk of "Spectrum".
Review: We were rather impressed by "The Premise EP", Kassian's (Joe Danvers and Warren Cummings) Heist Recordings-released debut single. If anything, this follow-up on Phonica White is even better. Title track "Faux Polynesia" is particularly potent. While its musical elements tend towards the ultra-deep - think smoky vocal samples, gentle (synth) trumpet lines and dreamy chords you can get lost in - these are underpinned by a bustling, heavyweight rhythm track that's packed with peak-time energy. In other words, it's hazy and intoxicating, but has enough guts to raise the temperature out on the dancefloor. Elsewhere on the EP, "System" delivers a looser late night blend of swinging, New Jersey-influenced percussion, jammed out chords, alien synth washes and glassy-eyed vocal snippets. It, too, is superb.
Review: With this superb EP, Geoff Wright AKA Kemback is finally fulfilling the promise shown on his previous outings for Omena and DBA Dubs. In short, the "Moving Through Clouds EP" contains the Bristol-based producer's best material to date. Check the string-laden majesty of opener "I Need You", where sumptuous violins and dreamy vocal samples tumble down over a bustling house groove, and the melancholic, slowly-shifting deep house bliss of "Moving Through Clouds". Equally as impressive is the loved-up, bass-heavy hustle of "Stepping Back", a gorgeous fusion of "Pacific State" style dreaminess, early New Jersey deep house and more forthright breakbeat-house bottom-end. The flipside remixes are tasty, too, with Soulphiction's subtly acid-flecked but similarly sumptuous revision of "I Need You" and Kim Brown's dusty, atmospheric lo-fi remix of the title track.
Review: After the excellent turns from Jay Ka, Vincent Inc, Danijel Kevic and Lola Allen, the latest artist to appear on the ever productive Spanish deep house machine Minuendo is Kevin Kendall. With little previous form, Kendall doesn't take long to impress on the Go Easy EP, with the title track seducing instantly with its woozy tones and deft drum programming. "Second Chance" is a punchier affair, while "Remembering You" seems to tap into that Fred P way of doing things. "I Hesitate" is a warbling beauty to round off a resoundingly strong first EP for Minuendo.
Review: Wojciech Taranczuk made his debut as Ketiov this time last year, serving up an expansive EP of dusty deep house treats and interesting interludes. This follow-up continues in a similar vein, opening with a pitched-down, reverb-laden blast of beat-less ambient goodness that sounds like a Balearic re-imagining of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over" (the extended version of which is pretty darn dreamy. There's plenty of rock solid, club-ready fare to be found across the EP, though, including the rush-inducing piano house of "Friends", the cut-up disco-house bounce of "Semi OK", the rubbery, low-slung DJ tool "Special Treat" and the organ-heavy chug of sweaty peak-time throb-job "Workout". In other words, it's an impressively versatile EP that should suit working DJs down to the ground.